Illinois Child-Welfare Chief Steps Down After Paternity Scandal

Arthur D. Bishop, former head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

Arthur D. Bishop looked good on paper, but apparently that was as far as it went.

He was appointed last month by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to run the state’s Department of Children and Family Services, but stepped down Wednesday following a series of Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ reports that revealed a theft conviction and paternity case in his past.


The move came shortly after the news organizations posted a story in which a daughter, Erica Bishop, raised questions about how the 61-year-old Bishop could care for the state’s most troubled children, given that he had cast her aside for her entire life—even after DNA testing proved she was his daughter nearly 11 years ago, the reports says.

“He’s supposed to be protecting the kids of the state—and you’ve got a kid out here you never done anything for,” Erica Bishop told the news organizations. “He left me as a father, which I think that’s unfair to me and it’s unfair to my kids … As far as them wanting to keep giving him higher positions to look over people’s kids, I don’t agree.”

Additionally, the investigation found that Bishop had been arrested on a felony theft charge in 1993 and accused of swindling clients of the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center out of more than $9,200, the Sun-Times and WBEZ reported earlier this month.

In his resignation letter, Bishop stated that his last day would be Friday. “I cannot be used as a distraction to the real issues that face the state and the children that remain in state custody,” he wrote, in part.


Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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